Original Article

Alternating Medical Dispatch Support Provided by the Japanese Red Cross Society after the Great East Japan Earthquake


  • Toshihiko Hata
  • Ken Ueda
  • Human Suzuki
  • Takashi Shimizu
  • Hiroshi Maruyama
  • Hiroki Tomita

Received Date: 08.02.2013 Accepted Date: 25.03.2013 Eurasian J Emerg Med 2013;12(2):54-56


After the Great East Japan earthquake of March 2011, Ishinomaki City suffered substantial damage as a result of the tsunami and medical services were disrupted. Fortunately, the Ishinomaki Red Cross Hospital (IRCH) was not affected because it had been relocated some distance away from the coast three years before the disaster.

Material and Methods:

This report identifies the strategies adopted by the IRCH to cope with the enormous medical demand following the tsunami. The Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) dispatched additional medical staff to the IRCH to boost medical services in Ishinomaki City.


From April to August 2011, a total of 113 doctors, 372 nurses, 105 pharmacists, 25 technicians, and 113 clerks, operating in shifts without a break, treated the victims of the tsunami. I was a member of the first medical dispatch team (4 to 9 April 2011) and the fourth medical dispatch team (19 to 24 April 2011) to IRCH by JRCS.


This medical support was helpful in terms of human resources and encouragement, not only to the Ishinomaki Red Cross Hospital, but also to medical systems around the disaster area.

Keywords: Great East Japan earthquake, alternating medical dispatch support, Japanese Red Cross Society